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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 3, September 2015


Marcyn Del Clements
Claremont, California, USA

Danum River Trail, Borneo Rainforest

Come into this forest with me. Don’t trip on the mouse hole right in the path. Here is a hollow log with three square holes cut in the side, created for a civet’s bedroom, but obviously unused. Inside is an intricate spider’s web with hundreds of ladders around the heart-shaped center. You must bend down, to get under a head high fern, and looking down, see a giant pill bug millipede nestled beside exposed roots. He rolls himself into a tight nut that not even a woodpecker could crack. Shining on the path, electric green moss lies across the forest floor like a royal rug. Among the trees, a giant buttressed fig that the Blue-headed pitta hides behind. He is wary and shy; their young have yet to leave the nest. His song is short, quick, then he is gone. And finally, before we leave to go back to the lodge, we find a group of Bornean Bristleheads. They are unique to Borneo, the only species in their family. I see the fancy red thighs. On another bird, I see the cream-colored crown. Then on another, the scarlet chest. On one bird, I can only see the bill. But there is a huge worm in it. He whacks and whacks it against the branch. Bits of bright lichen float down through the dark understory.

birds call in the woods
I am floating above them
in the eagle’s eye



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